Championship dream brought Peck to Boyle County

December 03, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

Greg Peck is not at Boyle County by chance.

Peck had a say in where he would play when his family was making a move, and he chose Boyle in large part with this week in mind.

The opportunity to win a state championship is why Peck is playing for the Rebels and not for any other school.

"I came here looking for something great, and I found it," Peck said. "I thank God every day I'm here."

The Boyle coaches are surely thankful, too, for in Peck they gained a player who has helped the Rebels on offense, defense and special teams in their bid for a state-record fifth consecutive state title.


"He's been a great addition from the fact that he came right in as a great athlete, and he fit right into our philosophy," Boyle coach Chuck Smith said.

Peck established himself on defense before coming to Boyle from Murfreesboro, Tenn. - he transferred to his new school for the 2003 spring semester - and this season the junior has emerged as a valuable part of the Rebels' receiving corps.

But when he took the practice field with the Rebels for the first time, he was just the new kid in town.

"I knew I'd have to come out and show them a little something to get my teammates to respect me," he said. "I feel like I've done it."

Peck said it didn't take him long to feel right at home among his new teammates.

"I fit in real well," he said. "At first I was a little worried, but now I feel like I've been with them my whole life."

Now he will join them in pursuit of a championship and history when Boyle faces Highlands on Saturday in the Class AAA title game at Louisville.

"Knowing that I'm one of the few out there in the country playing for a state championship, playing for state history, five in a row," he said.

That's what Peck and his family had in mind when they were looking for a place to relocate.

His father, Paul Peck, was hired as the basketball coach at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia in August 2002 - he is a native of Russell Springs and coached at Lindsey Wilson from 1978-80 - and the younger Peck said finding a good football program was high on the list of priorities when it was time to find a home.

"My football team in Tennessee was pretty good, and he felt bad about taking me out of it," he said. "He wanted to put me somewhere good."

The Pecks did their homework, checking out schools far and wide. They ruled out Adair County, which is located in Columbia, and began expanding their search.

Danville is roughly 65 miles from Columbia. There are 23 other Kentucky high schools with football teams within a 50-mile radius of Columbia, but the Pecks had heard of Boyle's success, and one visit to the school was all it took to win the son over.

Before the search began, Peck stayed at his previous address for the 2002 season, starting at defensive back as a sophomore for Oakland, which went 7-5 and reached the second round of the playoffs in Class 5A, the class for Tennessee's largest schools.

He said he wasn't involved much on offense last season, and he wasn't sure he would be when he came to Boyle.

"This year I kept my focus on defense, but I've really become part of the offense," he said.

Peck ranks second in receiving yards with 590 and fourth in receptions with 26, including seven touchdown catches. He is one of five receivers with at least 20 catches this season in Boyle's multi-faceted passing attack.

"Since we have so many good receivers, it helps (quarterback) Brandon (Smith) out a lot," Peck said. "He can throw to who he wants to when he wants to."

On defense, Peck has 66 tackles and four interceptions. And he has contributed on special teams as well with five kickoff returns for 188 yards.

He wants only to close his first season at Boyle with a championship, but he said to this point he couldn't be happier in his new football home.

"Everything's worked out great," he said.

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